168 mysterious new geoglyphs discovered in Peru Nazca Lines

Scientists have discovered 168 new geoglyphs known as the Nazca Lines in the soil of the Peruvian desert.

Peruvian and Japanese researchers from Yamagata University spent two years scanning the UNESCO World Heritage Site on Peru’s South Pacific coast using aerial photography, drones and field surveys.

The paintings feature people, camels, birds, killer whales, cats, snakes and more. About 50 of the large-scale paintings are humanoid figures, one of which resembles Homer Simpson.

Although it is difficult to know exactly when the geoglyphs were made, pottery found near the lines indicates a period between 100 and 300 BC – roughly 1,700 to 2,100 years ago.

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Only visible from the air, the Nazca Lines have puzzled scientists for years. But the new numbers are smaller, averaging between 6 and 19 feet in length, and are visible from the ground, Yamagata University professor Masato Sakai, who led the study, told Reuters.

Scientists have discovered 168 mysterious Nazca geoglyphs in the desert sands of Peru
The paintings feature people, camels, birds, killer whales, cats, snakes and more.
Yamagata University

“These geoglyphs were created by removing black rocks from the surface,” Yamagata University said in a statement.

Some of the data researchers are currently collecting will be analyzed by artificial intelligence (AI) programs that can describe patterns faster and more efficiently than the human eye, and report streak conservation.

As of 2019, archaeologists have found a total of about 200 geoglyphs in the region. These new drawings bring the official number of known Nazca lines to 358.

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Scientists have discovered 168 mysterious Nazca geoglyphs in the desert sands of Peru
Although it is difficult to know exactly when the geoglyphs were made, pottery found near the lines indicates a period between 100 and 300 BC.
Yamagata University

The archaeologist previously told The Guardian that he believes scientists have only found 5% of the Nazca lines.

The Yamagata scientists have been given permission by Peru’s Ministry of Culture to count as many geoglyphs as they can, as they plan to map the length and breadth of the desert canvas.

In 2017, an archaeological park was created to protect the geoglyphs in the Aja region, near the center of Nazca.

Scientists have discovered 168 mysterious Nazca geoglyphs in the desert sands of Peru
These new drawings bring the official number of known Nazca lines to 358.
Yamagata University

“36 of these geoglyphs were found in the Aja region near the city of Nazca. The discovery of 41 geoglyphs in the area was previously announced by Yamagata University in 2014 and 2015, leading to the creation of an archaeological park in 2017 in collaboration with Peru’s Ministry of Culture to protect them. With this discovery, it became known that a total of 77 geoglyphs are concentrated in this archaeological park,” Yamagata University said in a statement.

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According to Jorge Olano, chief archaeologist of the Nazca Lines Research Program, the purpose of the Nazca Lines is still unknown. Although enigmatic, they have been interpreted in various ways, including that they were intended for celestial deities or represented stars for astronomical purposes.

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